a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie

13 of the most famous Scottish clans and their castles

Few things capture the romance of Scotland's history more than the stories of the clans of the Highlands.

From the MacDonalds to the MacKenzies, these family organisations shaped the history of the country and were involved in everything from battles and border disputes to politics and supporting the kings and queens of Scotland's past. Here are the most famous of those powerful clans and their traditional clan seats. (Picture: Eilean Donan Castle - a stronghold of the Clan Mackenzie. Picture: Shutterstock)

With a name deriving from the Gaelic for curved mouth (Cam beul), they quickly rose to prominence emerging as one of the most powerful in Scotland with influence from Edinburgh to the Hebrides. Picture: Inveraray Castle

1. Clan: Campbell - Motto: Ne Obliviscaris (Forget Not)

With a name deriving from the Gaelic for curved mouth (Cam beul), they quickly rose to prominence emerging as one of the most powerful in Scotland with influence from Edinburgh to the Hebrides. Picture: Inveraray Castle
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Undisputably the largest of all the Highland clans, the clan was dominant in the western coasts of Scotland for many centuries leading up to the eventual end of the clan system in 1746. Picture: Finlaggan Castle

2. Clan: MacDonald - Motto: Per mare per terras (By sea and by land)

Undisputably the largest of all the Highland clans, the clan was dominant in the western coasts of Scotland for many centuries leading up to the eventual end of the clan system in 1746. Picture: Finlaggan Castle
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Mackenzie in Gaelic is Maccoinneach which means son of the fair bright one. The first mentions of the clan originate in the 14th century when they sided with the King against the Lords of the Isles, the MacDonalds.

3. Clan: MacKenzie - Motto: Luceo Non Uro (I shine not burn)

Mackenzie in Gaelic is Maccoinneach which means son of the fair bright one. The first mentions of the clan originate in the 14th century when they sided with the King against the Lords of the Isles, the MacDonalds.
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Closely associated with the Isle of Skye, the Clan Macleod are though to claim their descent from Leod, who according to MacLeod tradition was a younger son of Olaf the Black, King of Mann. Picture: Dunvegan Castle

4. Clan: Macleod - Motto: Hold Fast

Closely associated with the Isle of Skye, the Clan Macleod are though to claim their descent from Leod, who according to MacLeod tradition was a younger son of Olaf the Black, King of Mann. Picture: Dunvegan Castle
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